New Mexico Deputies Take Care Of Children While Their Father Gets Arrested For Drunk Driving

| by Brendan Kelly
Deputy Rodriguez holding the babyDeputy Rodriguez holding the baby

The fatherly instincts of two New Mexico deputies kicked in when they arrested a man for drunk driving while his three young children were in the car.

Jeffrey Salas, 24, was pulled over on Feb. 8 after the deputies spotted him driving erratically and on the wrong side of the road, KRQE reports.

Salas had his three children -- ages 5, 2 and 2 months -- in the vehicle.

The 2-month-old was in a car seat but not buckled in, KOAT reports.

Deputies Roger Garcia and Sam Rodriguez of Bernalillo County did their best to help the children after pulling over and arresting their father, who admitted to taking four shots before getting behind the wheel.

“We had to remove him from the kids’ view,” Rodriguez told KOAT. “The last thing we wanted to do was expose these kids to a negative law enforcement [encounter] with their father.”

Garcia said the kids told him they couldn’t remember the last time they ate. He mixed formula for the infant by flashlight, while Rodriguez wrapped him in a blanket and then fed him.

"It was a bunch of cops in uniform trying to make a bottle on the side of the road,” Rodriguez said. “We had a cold water bottle and we're trying to use our heater to warm up the water for him.”

Three other deputies arrived and went to get McDonald’s for the 5-year-old and 2-year-old. 

The deputies also changed the diapers of the two youngest children as they were soiled.

"It was really hard to be professional when we had such strong opinions about the morality of the situation,” Rodriguez said. “We really tried to keep it together for the welfare of the kids. We tried to be happy with them and give them a secure feeling.”

Both Garcia and Rodriguez have children of their own and said their fatherly instincts kicked in.

The three children are currently in custody of the Children Youth and Families Department while authorities investigate the case.

Sources: KRQEKOAT / Photo Credit: KRQE

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